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AUSTRALIANS IN NEW YORK: The Australians in New York Fashion Foundation gathered at Dinosaur Designs’ Sydney headquarters overnight to reveal the winner of its 2012 burse. University of Technology of Sydney fashion design graduate Natalia Grzybowski scored 25,000 Australian dollars, or $24,863 at current exchange, a return trip to New York City and the promise of some invaluable industry introductions in the New Year.
With friends like Calvin Klein Inc’s executive vice president of global communications Malcolm Carfrae on her side to help make connections, Grzybowski has a better than even chance of getting a foot in the door. Carfrae was flanked by fellow AINYFF board members Doll Wright, Ford Models model manager; Condé Nast Asia-Pacific’s editorial director at large Nancy Pilcher, as well as a number of Sydney fashion names, including designers Dion Lee, Michael Lo Sordo, Christopher Esber and Fernando Frisoni, model Ivana Martyn-Zyznikow, stylist Katelyn Gray, Vogue fashion director Meg Gray, and Harper’s Bazaar’s fashion director Jill Davison and fashion editor Christine Centenera. The foundation was launched by Carfrae and others in 2009 to help young Australians gain international fashion experience. Previous finalists have secured internships at Calvin Klein, Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne and V Magazine, with 2009 winner Georgia Lazzaro later securing a full-time position as an associate designer at Calvin Klein Collection women’s wear.
On Jan. 25, in collaboration with Woolmark and the Australian government’s G’Day USA program, AINYFF will also co-present “The Australian Five” at New York’s Crosby Street Hotel — a presentation of the collections of Lo Sordo, Esber, Frisoni, Magdalena Velevska and Kym Ellery. Although happy to support emerging local talent get some international industry cut-through, one Australian who would rather stay put in Sydney is Centenera — who freelance consults to, among others, Kanye West and is currently working on his fall-winter Paris show, which is slated for March 3. “I like the lifestyle here” she said. “New York is a hub and it’s amazing and it’s inspiring, but I think if you can hop in and out of that. For me that’s my thing.”